By James Atkinson

The Federal Budget has not increased wine taxes, which Winemakers’ Federation of Australia chief executive Paul Evans said would bring “a collective sigh of relief across regional Australia”.

Evans said the last thing the Australian wine industry needs right now is a tax hike and the Federation has advocated strongly on this matter.

“We welcome the fact that common sense has prevailed in Canberra,” he said.

Evans reiterated the association’s action plan, which recommends responsible reform to the WET rebate to ensure it continues to deliver its original policy intent of supporting small and medium wine businesses and regional communities. 

“These measures include stopping New Zealand winemakers from claiming a rebate of up to $500,000 every year for the wine they sell in Australia – and this is an opportunity for reform the Federal Government must not delay further,” he said.

Budget formalises wine merger

The Federal Budget also confirmed that the functions of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and the Wine Australia Corporation would be transferred to the Australian Grape and Wine Authority, which will start operations on July 1.

Wine Grape Growers Australia and the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) – the industry’s representative bodies – proposed the merger in 2012 after consulting with members and stakeholders.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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